1.5 lakh Kota students served unhealthy food
Over 1.5 lakh students, taking coaching classes at various centres in the city – known for its engineering and medical entrance exam coaching centres – are served non-nutritious food cooked in unhygienic conditions in canteens.
According to the district's Food and Safety Cell, the food served in the 228 registered messes and food centres in Kota, was found to be of poor quality, low in quantity and cooked in unhygienic condition.
The food centres with a turnover of over Rs 12 lakh per annum, charge Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,200 per month for two meals a day, said Dr RN Yadav, Chief Medical and Health officer (CMHO), Kota.
He said his department's inability to carry out frequent inspections at these centres can be one of the reasons behind the poor food standard. "We lack <g data-gr-id="25">staff</g> to constitute inspections teams. The department will initiate a drive in July to inspect these messes and food centres," he said.
Govind Sahay Gujjar, Food Inspector of Food Safety Cell, said while granting licences or registrations, the proprietors were asked to provide quality food, prepared in hygienic conditions, but no inspection was carried out after that. As routine inspections, cooking conditions and quality of food is checked and not the menu, he said.
The students studying at these entrance centres could not agree less with the findings. Lucky <g data-gr-id="30">Sarasawat</g>, who hails from Uttar Pradesh said that a meal contains four chapattis (small and thin), a small bowl of dal, seasonal vegetables and some rice. "In the name of special diet we are served noodles, oily snacks and other fast food twice a week," he said.
According to the department's report, fast food was found to be sold in open and in unhygienic conditions in <g data-gr-id="27">Mahavirnagar</g>, Rajiv Gandhi Nagar, Talwandi, <g data-gr-id="29">Dadabari</g> and Keshavpura, areas having renowned coaching institutes.